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29th March, 2016

Kusadasi, Turkey

The morning arrival looked like it might become a little ‘busy’as three passenger ships converged on Kusadasi all around the same time. Then the one on our left spotted a raft with probably 60 refugees on board, very slowly heading over towards the nearest Greek island. The master opted to wait nearby until the coastguard came out to take over responsibility. This is how close we are at present to the sad reality of the ‘troubles’. In fact I believe it was a German vessel belonging to NATO that responded soonest.

We were the second ship to dock and were alongside on schedule in the port I last visited 12 years ago. What a difference that time interval has made, now there are two long piers and what were nearby stalls are all respectable looking shops selling just about every type of accessory a lady needs, or at least deciding she must have once found. I didn’t get away lightly.

I have never seen so many shops selling leather bags, shoes, coats, Turkish carpets and jewellery, they just seemed to go on for ever. Owners were all outside touting for business as the tourists went by, but in a charmingly cheeky way I have to say. Mrs R and I had some refreshment at a street side café, probably only because the owner had spent much time in Leeds, or Bradford, spoke English with a delightful northern accent and almost made us feel guilty if we passed his caféwithout stopping.

Four different tours went off to see the Roman ruins at Ephesus, a site I have yet to visit. One day perhaps.

On our return I noticed a poster advertising the port, showing five cruise ships alongside, including our little Spirit of Adventure, sadly missed by many. I can only imagine what the shopping streets must have been like on that day.

Captain Philip Rentell

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